Here at the Department of Education, as elsewhere throughout America, our hearts ache for the Newtown, Conn., community. In a letter today to school districts around the country, Secretary Arne Duncan noted that, “Whenever a school experiences violence and the lives of children and adults are lost, we struggle to find words to express our emotions and explain how this could have happened.”
Many parents and family friends are having a difficult time expressing their own feelings of anxiety, worry or sadness, and often we do not know how to talk with children about such a senseless and horrific tragedy.
Below is a list of resources specifically designed for parents and guardians to provide guidance on talking to children following a traumatic event.
For a complete list of resources visit ED’s Readiness and Emergency Management for Schools Technical Assistance Center, and read Secretary Duncan’s “Resources for Schools to Prepare for and Recover from Crisis.”
- Helping Young Children and Families Cope with Trauma (SAMHSA National Child Traumatic Stress Network) [PDF]
- Spanish – Ayudando a Niños(as) y Familias a Enfrentarse con el Trauma [PDF]
- Childhood Traumatic Grief Educational Materials for Parents (SAMHSA National Child Traumatic Stress Network) [PDF]
- Parent Tips for Helping Infants and Toddlers after Disasters (SAMHSA) [PDF]
- Parent Tips for Helping School-Age Children after Disasters (SAMHSA) [PDF]
- Parent Tips for Helping Adolescents after Disasters (SAMHSA) [PDF]
Click here for more information and to see documents in additional languages.
Cameron Brenchley is director of digital strategy at the U.S. Department of Education.